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Old 11-01-2012, 06:38 AM   #1
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Question Pressure Canning Newbie

Hello everyone. Being new to pressure canning, I have a question that is somehow a bit difficult to get answered (googling the web). My question is this: When I make e.g. a nice meat stew or something similar, it cooks for a couple of hours and it's ready to eat. Whatever I have left over, I usually put the freezer. Buying a pressure canner, I imagined that I could can the whole batch or just the leftovers instead of putting them in the freezer. However, that would mean exposing the leftovers to maybe 50 minutes of extra heat (in the pressure canner). This would of course make the dish quite different from the original one - i.e. much more mushy and not at all the way I wanted.

When pressure canning e.g. a meat stew, it seems to me that the cooking as such takes place in the jar in the canner - and not prior to putting the food in the jar (as I originally thought). Or am I totally mistaken here? Advice appreciated

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Old 11-01-2012, 12:51 PM   #2
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Your right. The solution is that stew is canned by cooking the stew in the jars in the pressure canner. Of course, you brown the meat on the stove top first. Check around the Internet by searching CANNING BEEF STEW for some typical recipes and time/pressure. Very little time difference, and probably even less clean-up than conventional stewing.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:20 PM   #3
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Don't 'search around the internet' for canning recipes--there are a lot of canning recipes on line that are not safe, particularly when you get into recipes that involve meat!

You need to use a recipe that has been tested by USDA. Safe recipes are found right here: National Center for Home Food Preservation

Another good source of recipes, also from USDA/University of Georgia is 'So Easy to Preserve'. Google that title and you will find instructions for ordering that book. I think it is about $18-- a good bargain.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
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I definitely agree with sparrowgrass. Canning is not designed for preserving "meals". Stick to freezing for that. 'Can' the meats and other ingredient separately according to approved and tested canning recipes.

Far too many recipes on the Internet are not considered safe or stable for long-term storage. At the very least get the canning bible, the Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving for about $6.50 locally or online.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:44 AM   #5
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Question How about...

I will do as advised. Thank you all. I have already ordered a couple of well-thought of canning recipe books. A follow-up question: Would it be OK to make e.g. a meat stew the "normal" way (that is not a canning recipe) and stop short the last hour or so - using the last hour in the pressure canner? You see what I'm driving at?
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:54 AM   #6
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NO. Sorry to be so emphatic, but in home canning, following the directions is key. Mainly, we want you to remain healthy, but also because you run a big risk of ruining your food and losing money.

Mcnerd--the link I posted contains all the recipes in the Ball Blue Book. University of Georgia is the official USDA site for home canning research, and is where all the BBB recipes came from. The Blue Book is very handy--I have a copy.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:37 AM   #7
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Lightbulb oh well...

I appreciate straight answers - so continue being emphatic I think I'm getting the point now. It's when meat is involved it gets a bit more ridgid. Basically it's all about canning the meats (beef, chicken, fish) separately from the other ingredients. Right?

One question: In the shops, one can get tinned food (like a mixture of meat and beans etc) - how come they get away with it?
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:25 AM   #8
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Canning factories are able to achieve higher temperatures than a home cook can. The food manufacturers also fail at times, thus food recalls.
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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You can do meats and veg together--there is a recipe for vegetable soup in the book, and one for spaghetti sauce with meat. It is more a matter of the right temp for the right time, and sometimes, the addition of acid.
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:12 PM   #10
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Smile ?

I was of the impression that mixing meat and other ingredients was a no-no. Of course, if it's a matter of adding some acid (like lemon juice or something), that's easily arranged. Thank you very much for adding this info - I'm trying to get a grip on this and it's a bit tricky (for a novice).
Chris
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